If you haven’t seen the Falcon Heavy launch video already on YouTube, you must. If you’ve seen it, it’s worth watching again and again if you like this sorta stuff again and again.
I did not watch the launch live but a live feed was going on as I watched the launch by scrolling back as the vehicle flew to orbit.
It was lovely to see the updates on Twitter (by Elon Musk as well as other space tweeps). It was a lovely accompaniment to the live video feed on YouTube. It almost made it look like that these were tools specifically made for this purpose. Reddit went too crazy for me to meaningfully follow it on mobile.
The launch was spectacular in the following as well. It almost felt as exhilarating as watching the early Apollo missions.
Towards the afternoon Sandhya Ramesh wrote for The Wire magazine answering some of the questions that many people seemed to have had about the mission. Stephen Clark at Spaceflight Now has the most descriptive write up of today’s events itself. I haven’t seen any write up yet about the implications of the launch worth sharing that I’m not already sharing on my Tumblr.
Purchased a Nokia 6 yesterday from Croma store at Horniman Circle yesterday on the way back from watching the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.
I went through quite a series of unfortunate events the past couple of weeks which put me off wanting to update anyone about anything. The latest of which has me in bed with a sprain in the back with a very slow recovery.
The only good news has been that I’m back with D and the kid after a separation of 7 months.
In the period while D was away, I expected to be more involved in stuff I was interested in. But, I went through a deep dive asking myself what I really knew about things I prided myself on knowing. The answer came back as not much. So began a process again of narrowing focus and looking at things I wanted to take deep dives in and things that just infatuated me at that moment.
I think back now on the 7 months as lost months where I lost an opportunity to know things better than I already had. Now, the focus is on the kid and I’ve put aside my own interests. Focussing on work and home and more on home than work.
October 20, 2017 Mumbai
So, last night I dreamed of PSLV. The PSLV-C39 mission failed a few days back and it’s possible return to Earth has been in the news for the past few days. ISRO has been putting updates of it’s fuel being vented and a possible crash landing in the Pacific Ocean sometime in the next two months.
I dreamed that the fourth stage of the PSLV landed on the street in front of my apartment building, trashed a few trees and landed right near the gate of the temple nearby. The priest, who it nearly missed by inches, thought of it as divine intervention and immediately started performing rituals. Awoken by the sound from my afternoon slumber, I looked out and identified the PSLV from the Indian flag and the national emblem emblazoned on it but kept quiet.
A few minutes later members of the emergency services tried to isolate and retrieve the object, thanking the gods for saving so many lives. To their astonishment the early morning temple goers cordoned off the area and refused to co-operate in any effort to move the object.
The rituals went on till the early morning resisting all efforts of the emergency services to retrieve the object.
I have no recollection of the next few steps I took, but I was speeding down NH-47, the fourth stage on the back of a truck. I then spent the next 4 years building a PSLV in Palakkad. After 15 launches of my re-hashed version of the PSLV, I sit on a porch reading the front page of The Week calling me India’s answer to Elon Musk. Thankfully, I woke up by this time.
എല്ലാപേരുകം എന്റെ ഹൃദയംനിറഞ്ഞ ഓണം ആശംസകൾ.
മലയാളത്തില എഴുതുന്ന ശ്രമം തുടങ്ങി രണ്ടു വര്ഷം അഴി. ഓണം ആയതിനാൽ ഇ ശ്രമം പുതുക്കാന് നിശ്ചയിച്ചു.
ഇത് എന്റെ അദ്യതെ പോസ്റ്റ്.
(This is not meant as a review of the movie. There may be spoilers.)
Vikram-Vedha found mention in today’s Indian Express which reminded me that I also meant to write about it here. Better late than never.
This is how Shubhra Gupta writing in the Indian Express summarizes the movie. The article also mentions Angamaly Diaries, another movie I loved but didn’t get to writing about and other regional language movies.
…the Tamil language Vikram-Vedha directed by Pushpa-Gayatri: it’s gangsta-and-cops-and-robbers aesthetic is shot through tactics that immediately make you sit up and take notice. R Madhavan plays the cop-who-thinks-he-is-always-right with a swagger. Vijay Sethupathi’s bad guy out-swaggers the policeman.
I loved Vijay Sethupati in this movie. His entry scene in the movie received a lot of whistles from the audience and reminded me of Reddington entry scene in The Blacklist. The movie moves from the black and white chor-police narrative to one which goes into the grey shades. Intertwined in this is the classic Vikram-Vetaal of my childhood (whose introduction theme scared me) of question and answers, which leads the investigation forward and introduces the grey element. The connection is brought by Sethupati asking Madhavan “Oru Katha Sollutta?” (Tamil: Shall I tell you a story?), which is how Vikram-Vetaal stories also move forward.
The movie ends with a question that is not answered. Only Tamil movies have this realistic element. It leaves the answer to the question open to the movie-goer. It says not all questions have an easy solution. It is the grey that we have in Society today. Not everyone is purely white nor purely black. Everyone is a shade of grey. We can’t make out how dark these shades of grey are. All we can do is do the best in the given in situation and know that we have no control on the outcome.
I watched the movie at Cinepolis in Chembur, Mumbai on July 28, 2017.
Devdutt Pattanaik is a writer whose books I love to read because he interprets puranas in their modern sense. It makes sense to me. It sometimes makes better sense than their traditional interpretation as I have heard.
My Gita is Pattanaik’s interpretation of the Gita. He begins the book by stating that the poem is not to be read from start to finish as one would a book or a poem today. He suggests that the wisdom is scattered throughout the verses of the Gita. Traditionally, the Gita would be expounded by a Guru to his disciple by teaching him only the relevant sections with explanations. Not the whole poem in the form it is read today.
Accordingly, Pattanaik’s book is arranged in a scheme such that the Hindu philosophy expounded in the Gita could be more clearly grasped and better understood.
The book is a tiring read. I have read various voluminous books like Radhakrishnan on the Upanishads and even his Dhammapada. I have even read Pattanaik’s earlier books but none have tired me so. It’s difficult to keep up with a thread of thinking in the book. This made my reading progress slow and tiring as I found it hard to grasp concepts.
The way to overcome this difficulty is to skim through the book quickly the first time to get a basic idea before reading the book understanding the depth of the book. The book is a complete guide to the Gita with context, several interpretations offered including alternative versions but finally is Pattanaik’s interpretation of the Gita.
Created a random video of sparrows outside my bedroom video. First step from video consumer to creator? Perhaps.
I went off music for a long period because India did not have a platform like Pandora. This was because listening to streaming music in India was a frustrating experience. Poor data connection, high cost for said data connection and the lack of an affordable platform.
google Play Music solved all these issues for me. I’v been listening to music like I did in my college days and have been enjoying the experience for the past month or so.
I had a promotion exam in the middle of July. This meant essentially that all of my reading went for a toss in the build up. A lax period arose as I stopped following many things that I had followed dilligently till then. I also had no list of things that I did follow. This meant that after the exam I was enveloped in a period where I did not know what to do. I raked my mind and nothing came to me or rather everything came at me at the same moment. At this moment, I just let things be and let them slide for a while till about day before yesterday.
I picked up Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s Inner Engineering book and went through a few pages just highlighting them. I did not read it with any focus. But, after having read it, I felt happy for a few moments at having begun reading again.
p.s. I hope this has also started me blogging again.